I have always thought that Iceland, Switzerland and Norway were the countries with the most common sense in Europe. However, I found out today that Estonia is probably the best and here is why:
- It is a pluralist democracy
- A market based economy
- It has liberalised trade
- It has no budget deficit and total debt is 5% GDP
- Unemployment is 1.8%
- 90% of the economy is privitised
- You can register a business in under 18minutes (14months in Italy)
- It has a flat tax
- It is the law for the government to have a balanced budget
- The Estonian Central Bank is barred from lending money to the government
- It has the worlds largest number of start-up companies per capita
- All their policies were inspired by Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman as admitted by former Prime Minister Mart Laar
What an incredible country. This is an example of what can be achieved with the right policies after breaking away from the soviet union (Ukraine should take note!).
Furthermore, Estonia was hit very hard during the recession, unemployment reached 18%! Since then, Estonia now has the lowest ratio of government debt to GDP and the lowest budget deficit in the EU.
Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, press freedom (third in the world in 2012), economic freedom, civil liberties and education. It is often described as one of the most wired countries in Europe (Internet), and is recognised as a leader in e-government.
UK debt reached £1,377bn in Q1 2013. Just think about that number for a second. Actually, its difficult to imagine a number like this in our heads because it is simply too large to compute. With debt forecast to reach 99% GDP by 2014, when will labour, conservatives and liberal democrats admit that government spending has not been cut by enough.
Here is UK debt in euros:
As you can see we are catching up with France and Germany on total debt. What about debt as a percentage of GDP?
As you can see our debt is spiraling out of control like it is for many of the eurozone countries.